It will always remain a mystery: how the universe brought us together.
It will always remain a mystery: how the universe brought us together.
Little Minnie, you were returned to the pet shop because you were sick. We took you in because no one deserves to treated like mere merchandise. No, your health does not dictate your worth, our little girl.
When we first laid eyes on you, you were coughing uncontrollably, you barely ate and could hardly even stand at all. When we looked into your eyes, we saw hope in you. Yes, you were sick, but it didn’t make us love you any less.
We spent weeks taking care of you, the medical bills skyrocketed, but it didn’t bother us… as long as we did what we could to bring your health back. You deserved a shot at life.
Your cough went away a day or two after we took you home. It made us so, so happy. But weeks went by, the virus just got worse despite the intensive verterinary care you were under. The seizures got worse, affecting your right leg first. Eventually taking over your entire body. We were crying, holding on, but at the same time, losing hope little by little.
There was just that one, perfect day when you stood up and walked like a healthy pup. You struggled to walk towards us, although clumsily and slow, every step was a miracle for us. We thought that maybe, just maybe, you were getting better. That day we felt like nothing was wrong in the world.
No. We didn’t put you up for adoption because we knew no one could love you much more than we do. With all the effort, smiles and tears over the past four weeks, you became part of our family.
We had plans when you get better. We were going to cuddle with you on cold, rainy nights. We were ready to shower you with love and treats, too. Just the way we know you’d like it.
Your test results came in recently, and it confirmed our worst fears, our hopes were shattered. Over the following weeks the virus just got stronger and it became too much for your little body to take… You fought so hard, baby girl, you were so, so brave. You were so resilient in your battle against distemper, you held on to us and showed us that you were fighting to have a life with us too.
…until today. You said goodbye to us. We sat on the floor crying for hours beside you. We cried for you and all the things we hoped to do together. We loved you so much, little girl. The pain was far beyond words, but we regret nothing when we took you home and cared for you, helped you fight for as long as we could.
That perfect day when you tried to walk just so you could to snuggle with us, how you gobbled down your food like you were a regular healthy pup and the moment you looked at us with hope. Memories of you will be in our hearts forever…
We are so, so sorry if everything we did was not enough to make you stronger. We just hope that all the love we gave was enough for you to experience the kind of love you truly deserve…even just for a little while.
Little one, you are not a merchandise. Your health and appearance does not dictate your worth. We love you just as you are, with sickness and all.
That night we took you home, we didn’t want to give you a name. Because we know when we start loving you, there would be no end. Eventually, we named you “Minnie” because of your adorably large ears…right then and there we knew loved you.
You loved us back and you fought so hard. Rest well, our love, our little Minnie. We love you, so, so much….
Loving you always,
Mommy and Daddy
July 1 – July 28, 2016
Follow Minnie’s story here:
With special thanks to BARKINGHAM PHILIPPINES for all the love, care and support for our little one.
Last summer, I went on a journey to explore the beautiful country of Greece. Little did I know that I would be overwhelmed with how seamlessly ancient ruins could weave itself beautifully into the fabric of modern Greek society.
The majestic temple of Zeus standing tall and proud in the heart of Athens. Just look at how those columns have stood the test of time. Imagine how every piece have been put together by the ancient Greeks. It never ceases to amaze me.
At Syntagma Square with these hungry pigeons.This first stop was followed by a magnificent trip to learn the history of the Acropolis Stadium. This was just my first glimpse of Greece.
We were walking around the city of Athens during the first day and I couldn’t help asking: “What’s that structure on top of the hill?” My question was answered the next day when we climbed up to see that what is there is so much more than what I had expected.
Seen from the city is Acropolis, the highest point of Athens. Beautiful isn’t it?
Sometimes in life, you can’t see the breathtaking view until you muster the courage to climb the mountain.
During our day-trip, we ventured on a boat ride to see the different islands surrounding Greece. One of them is this quaint island called Hydra. This little island is a town in itself, with little shops and cafes near the water. What’s fascinating is that the townspeople here have donkeys to get around, nope, no cars!
This breathtaking view where the sky meets the beautiful Greek dome-shaped architecture was taken from the island of Santorini. We stayed here a couple of days, and if I could, I would’ve stayed much longer. There were numerous mini-shops greeting passersby along the alley, from nifty book nooks to one-of-a-kind trinket stores.
The town of Nafplio. Bustling with life through it’s diversity in art, music and delicacies.
I love the bliss whenever I draw my adventures on my journal. It helps me remember not only the place, but also the little memories that come with my travels. When I look back, it’s the little moments that touch my heart to this day. Such as the time my mom and I shared a large Greek pretzel-like dessert, the ice cream cone I had in Athens despite the biting cold winds or the fact that not a day goes by without a serving of delicious Greek yogurt (yummy!), and the time when I looked down from the highest peak of Greece and thought to myself:
“All these man-made bricks, statues and temples are truly majestic, but nothing compares to the beauty of nature that my God has surrounded it all with”.
I am often asked how I find time to draw during these trips. Despite the hustle and bustle during the morning tours, I try to find time to relax in a cafe as a short pit-stop to write down the events that happened during the day. Always remember to write down the important details, you can sketch them later in the evening (if you aren’t too tired!)
The Greeks have a habit of drinking Frappe every now and then. I find that I also belong to this place where it is bursting with art, history, culture…and yes, coffee!
The mystical trail of Delphi, after a hike atop the mountains of Greece.
The Dyonisus Theater. It’s size and design is jaw-droppingly (if that is even a word) – incredible! It may be huge, but dropping a coin or stomping your feet at the center circle of the theater can be heard throughout the entire stadium.
For those who are wondering, what is Greek food like? Three words. Fresh, Simple, Flavorful. This is my favorite, which I have learned to make at home. The Traditional Greek Salad. (Bell Peppers, Onions, Lettuce, Olives, EVOO, Tomatoes and Cucumbers, Generously topped with Feta Cheese!)
Aside from the Greek Salad, I have enjoyed the Greek Yogurt, to which none can compare. Not a day passed in Greece without us having a portion of this!
Travelling is a perfect opportunity to experience something new. I give myself time to think when I travel, knowing that the adventure that lies ahead is so much greater than what I have left behind. It’s such a memorable experience when you put your thoughts and emotions down on paper, because every step of the journey is an adventure.
I’m opening classes once more for a basic lettering workshop, and since vacation is just around the corner, I thought a travel journal would be perfect! If you’d like to learn the art of handlettering and how to start your own travel journal, you can
Register for the workshop here:
Hope to see you soon!
Say yes to new adventures. 🙂
*All photos taken with an iPhone5
I’ve been having a lot of inquiries regarding the materials I use for my art and lettering. This has inspired me to create a blog post for the materials I’ve tried throughout my journey. These pens, inks and watercolors are truly portable little rainbows that have brought much color into my life!
The Filed NeoFine Fineliner Set is truly a box of rainbows. Here is an artwork I made with the fineliners. The tip of these pens (0.40mm) enabled smooth writing and doodling. However because these pens are water based, make sure you don’t keep coloring / shading on the same areas as the ink will seep through the back of the paper (I used 80gsm paper). Using thicker surfaces such as vellum and 100+gsm might work better with this water-based pen. Overall, it’s perfect for note-taking in class. I’m sure I’d write with this in school to keep my notes fun and colorful!
These bright-colored pens are dual-tipped. It’s versatility makes it the perfect go-to for calligraphy and lettering.The two tips give an advantage for shading in large areas (brush tip) and for creating details too (slim tip). The ink is bright and not too thick that it would seep through the paper.
Shop: TOKYO FINDS
The Le Plume brush pen possesses a lighter hue compared to others. The ink is pretty thick and more water-based than most, it will seep through thin paper. Though I love the way it slides through the paper smoothly, and how closely it resembles the feel of using an actual brush.
One of my favorite brands! The all-around marker! These markers provide bold and bright colors, perfect for the creative at heart. Best to use thicker boards or paper, and all other non-porous surfaces when using Sharpie.
Although not the typical artist go-to, I love the black (twin tip) marker of Dong-A. I used this one for outlining and for shading, more often than not for my watercolor illustrations and lettering works.
This one is meant to be a highlighter, but I always find a different purpose for my coloring materials. I bought mine from Japan.
I love, love, love my koi watecolor set. Although it’s a bit more costly, it’s a purchase I didn’t regret. The colors are bold and bright, just the way I like my palette. The watercolors are concentrated as well, use sparingly for softer tones.
I knew I should’ve bought myself a set of these during my trip to Japan last year! Luckily my boyfriend got this for me as a birthday surprise. The palette is very concentrated, meaning you can use just a little and have a solid texture.
The most affordable and has found it’s way to be called the “sweet” watercolor. Why sweet? It’s thick consistency makes the colors bold and bright. The watercolor has a syrupy thickness when added with a little water. Most people say that ants keep finding their way to their Prang palettes. Despite all that, yes, it’s also an artist’s must-have.
Shop: National Bookstore
(Pictured on the background)
My first ever fountain pen. Also a gift from my boyfriend when he came back from Germany almost a year ago. I love that they have branches here in the Philippines so you could simply buy the refills (it comes in lots of different colors too! Next time I’ll try the neon yellow!).
Very handy and writes smoothly. The tip is smaller than the usual fountain pen, but it’s the perfect travel fountain pen. I got mine from Japan and took home a couple of refills too, just in case I don’t get to visit Japan anytime soon!
For a complete list of tech-pens that I use, you can visit my other blog post about them here:
To those who are waiting for “the knight in shining armor” / “Mr. Right” / “THE One”… I understand all that you’ve been through, for I have once been there too. I know how it feels like to sit quietly in the corner, waiting for him to notice you. It’s also familiar to me, the feeling of butterflies in the stomach, that topsy-turvy, roller-coaster feeling that gets you giddy all over. That nervousness and loss of words when he finally talks to you. Oh my, that high school romance. From the first crush, to the first love, to the first heartbreak, I know the thrill, the joy and the pain of it all.
This is an open letter, from the man will love you unconditionally. No, this kind of love is beautiful, and does NOT exist only in paperback books, novels and movies. Just wait, you will see.
You look so peaceful in your sleep tonight, I am tempted to wake you up just to say how much I love you. That’s why I’m writing this letter to you instead, so you could read it in the morning; hoping it would be enough to let you know how truly blessed I am that the first blessing I see when I wake up is you.
We’ve been married for three years now, has time really gone by that quickly? It seems like just yesterday when we said “I Do”.
Yesterday, I woke up and saw you with your messy hair spread on the pillows. I smiled at the way the sides of your lips twitch adorably as you sleep. As the sunlight hits your beautiful face, I notice the faint signs of wrinkling around your eyes, it saddens me to think how we can never be the same age twice. I brush your cheek lightly and smile, because I know that no matter how you look many years from now, you will always have those eyes full of life and laughter; and that heart overflowing with kindness. We may never be the same age twice, but I choose to grow every second older with no one else but you. My beautiful wife, I want to let you know, that from the moment I wake up until I lay down to sleep, my heart is full of nothing more but love for you.
I think back to the time we were at the park several years ago. I consider that summer to be the very definition of perfect. You were in a simple blue sundress with your hair tied up in a ponytail. You looked absolutely beautiful ─ as you still are today, if not even more so. I was watching you happily savouring the vanilla ice cream cone I bought you; like it was the best thing in the world. I guess that’s one of the many qualities I adore about you ─ you love the simple things.
As we were slowly approaching the end of the park, I grew quiet as I realized our day together would soon come to an end. I knew it would take days before I could be with you again. I looked at you as you were talking about your dream to open a café someday. You were narrating with such eagerness and passion, it surprises me how you could visualize it with such detail. You went on animatedly: “The café will be a little rustic with wooden interiors and a slightly industrial look. Oh, of course an herb garden out front for you to grow too!”
My heart did a little summersault. You knew I loved to garden and hope to start my own farm someday, I was happy that you did not forget. But I was happier when you mentioned it was not just your café, but ours. I was part of your dream. The same way I dream of spending my future with you.
I imagined life without hearing the sound of your voice, without knowing how you are or without holding you in my arms. That day I knew I couldn’t see my tomorrows without you in it, the beautiful, simple girl I fell deeply, unconditionally in love with. My love, aside from our wedding, that day in the park would be the second best day of my life because that was when I asked you to be my Forever.
I’m whisked back from my reverie and I’m watching the gentle rise and fall of your chest as you sleep. Within it is your heart; faithful, gentle, fragile and ageless. Darling, I know I have wronged you countless times. I have promised to keep you happy for the rest of our lives, to take care of your precious heart; yet here I am being the source of your pain, too. I am asking for your forgiveness for the times I overlook the little sacrifices you make, the moments I have neglected spending time with you and the ways I have hurt you without realizing until it’s too late.
When we fight, I know that you cry secretly at night with your tears soaking the pillow. It is during these times when I ache within, wanting to reach out, to hold you, to let you know you are not alone. I am in bed right next to you, yet I never do, thinking you might “need some time alone”. I realize just now that you’ve spent enough years on your own, it is selfish of me to put you back into that place. I am here with you now, through the joy and the pain, there is no need to leave you alone to suffer the way you did. I want to say I’m truly sorry, for all that and more, and I am thankful, that your heart never ceased loving me through it all.
I look down and gently touch your hand. I see the trail of white patches on your fingertips, it has spread a little bit more now, like it does every passing day. You call this a disease and a cause of your physical insecurities. You even had it checked by the doctor to find ways to stop the spreading, but to no avail. My love, stop looking for ways to conform to the world’s standards of beauty. Each day I would kiss your fingers, look you in the eye and tell you that you are the most beautiful woman in the world. Your “imperfections” are beautiful. I is a part of you, it makes you unique, it’s an abstract artwork that only those who understand you would know how to love and appreciate.
I want you to know that I love everything about you. I love how expressive your eyes are, when you’re sad or when you’re happy. I love how your nose would twitch when you smell food. I love how perfectly your hand fits into mine. And I love how the patches on your skin make you uniquely, insanely and perfectly beautiful.
I wonder if you’ve ever felt this overflow of emotions. The mixture of joy, wistfulness, pain and love all at the same time. Right now there is nothing more in the world I want to do than to make you happy. I want to be the reason for the smile on your face, I want to be there for you in your achievements, I want my arms to be your “home” and I want to hold your hand as we go through life together.
Do you remember when we were younger how we looked for love? We believed that the sooner we ease the loneliness, the happier we will be. We were so young and naïve, always wanting, always looking, but never really finding. It took us the worst heartache before we finally learned the hardest lesson of all ─ waiting. We’ve been friends for a long time, but it took three long years before our paths crossed again. It is as they say: Love comes not when you are lonely, but when you are ready. Right now seeing you next to me and having you as a part of my life, I can proudly say you are worth every second of the wait.
I confess I may not be the perfect husband at times but one thing I promise you is that I will love you with every fibre of my being. I can never thank the Lord enough for entrusting you to me. You are my every hope, my dream and my answered prayer.
I know life isn’t meant to be perfect, not even our lives as a married couple. But one thing I know for sure, is that God gave you to me, to care for you every minute of the day, to love you despite all your moodiness, to give way in arguments, to be patient during misunderstandings and to support you in your dreams.
You might ask why I wrote a letter to you out of the blue. There is no need for an occasion to say “Thank you” for being a part of my life. I love you so much more than this letter could ever express.
You are everything I have asked God for and more. I am truly blessed beyond measure.
Loving you more each day,
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
New International Version (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
It troubles me, how to begin this post.
How can I give something I don’t have? How could I share a lesson I have not yet fully learned?
How does one learn the value of finding the blessing in everything?
In our lives, there comes a time when we find ourselves in the wilderness. This is when we constantly search for answers, hoping to finding the road map to teach us which way to go next. Oftentimes we travel, hoping that time away from the city would clear our thoughts. We try to unplug and disconnect from social media, expecting that distance from our outside noise would enable us to focus better. We think we finally have what we’ve wanted – TIME: Time to rediscover ourselves, time to do what we love and time to think things through.
Sometimes this is enough to find our way back.
But sometimes it’s not.
No matter what you do, no matter how much time you have in your hands, things still don’t seem to make sense. It’s never a pleasant experience – because it isn’t meant to be one. It means it’s time to learn a new lesson; one we could not learn on our own.
For a couple of weeks now, the Lord has been teaching me this valuable lesson:
When you find yourself in the wilderness, when God is silent, when nothing you do seems to help you get back on track…
When life is as dry and hopeless as the desert, learn to rejoice even for a single drop of rain.
In the midst of crossroads and confusion, learn to be thankful when there is nowhere to go but down on your knees in prayer.
Everyone around you may have left your side, but don’t forget to look up because you are never truly, completely, alone.
Trials and temptations that meet you along the way may be difficult to overcome, but know that it is never impossible.
Closed doors and missed opportunities are certainly not dead ends, rather see them as blessings in disguise.
Your mind may be filled with doubts and fears, learn to find rest in the Lord, when did He not guide you through?
Stay strong as you journey through the wilderness.
Be an optimist. Learn to find the blessing in everything.
READ MORE: God Accomplishes What Concerns You
I’m utterly and indescribably thankful for how far the Lord has brought SnapperDoodles in a span of one year. When I left corporate, I never would have thought that passion, when pursued could open so many doors and unexplored possibilities.
On April 19, 2015 (Sunday), the article about how SnapperDoodles began was out on the newspaper! I recalled the events leading to this opportunity and I can only say one thing: “God is Good!”
Pearlyn Choco, creator of SnapperDoodles Design and owner of Tiny Treasures PH, documents her thoughts and musings through typography and doodling.
MANILA, Philippines – It has been said that when you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.
This rings true with 22-year-old Pearlyn Choco, the lady behind the well-loved Instagram account @snapperdoodles where she documents her thoughts and musings through typography and doodling. This journey later on became her ticket to going full-time as an artist.
Pearl, who is also the creator of Snapperdoodles Design and owner of Tiny Treasures PH, found her passion in lettering, art and design. With her unique works posted on Instagram, she generated more than 14,000 followers in just 10 months. Pearl now continues to showcase her distinctive artistry online and social media platforms.
A petite lady with a contagious sweet smile, Pearl carries a reserved and innocent vibe. But the moment she opens herself up, one will see a strong and motivated person ready to tackle life’s challenges.
Pearl grew up in an environment where financial stability and security are viewed with high regard. So in college, she took up Management of Financial Institutions at De La Salle University. Even before she graduated, Pearl found a job at a multi-national company where she worked hard sticking to the “corporate routine.” A couple of months later, she left for another banking career but again, the 9 to 5 job didn’t allow her to have creative freedom. This fueled her desire to explore the field of arts more. So she mustered all her courage and decided to exchange the security of a stable employment for a chance to start fresh and become a freelance artist. “I took the matter to prayer and fasting because I was so desperate to find my purpose in life,” says Pearl.
SnapperDoodles, which Pearl personally defines as her life in snaps (photography) and doodles (typography), became her way of giving glory to God through the talent and skill He has given her.
In just a few months, Pearl was able to launch her own product lines, participate in bazaars and conduct basic typography workshops. Through her art, Pearl has inspired a handful of individuals to explore their own artistic sides while working on wonderful collaborative works with people whom she shares the same passion with. “If you think you can’t do something, you really wouldn’t be able to accomplish it. I was like that before but I learned to choose to think otherwise,” she explains.
Pearl finds beauty in simplicity, which is evident in her art. Lines, curves and a bit of color here and there reflects her simple personality. Like her art, Pearl believes that every girl is beautiful the way she is. “Nobody is perfect, and that’s one thing to accept,” she assures.
For Pearl, a confident woman is a beautiful woman but a little help from one’s trusted makeup brand doesn’t hurt. She uses Careline products to prep up and complete her look.
Starting with the face, Pearl uses Careline BB Cream as a base to hide imperfections and keeps skin fresh-looking. This BB Cream has three shades — Natural, Fresh and Nude — that perfectly matches the Filipina skin tone.
Pearl emphasizes her beautiful eyes using the Careline Color Pencil. Formulated to glide on smoothly, it can be smudged for a soft smoky effect or to create bold lines that will make the eyes pop.
Finally, Pearl opts for a soft natural flush using the Careline Oil Control Blush-on. It comes in 10 shades that will match her day-to-day activities.
“I believe that makeup helps enhance our beauty. Simple makeup helps us stand out,” Pearl adds.
As someone whose confidence shines through her simple, unique personality, Pearl is a good role model to teens who are finding their own place in the world. Through her experience, Pearl leaves a strong message to teens, “Do not live for other people’s approval or conform to someone else’s standards. Instead of hiding behind insecurities, find what you are best at and shine,” she says.
Looking back, Pearl is thankful for being part of the corporate world where she learned many things, acknowledging that it was a stepping stone to her higher purpose in life. “By the grace of God SnapperDoodles came to be and thank God my mission on earth has begun,” Pearl concludes.
Photography by Mot Rasay • Makeup by Mary Jane Arpa of Ever Bilena Cosmetics • Clothes by Jellybean
LINK TO THE ARTICLE: Passion and Profession
Here are some behind the scenes photos of the shoot with Ever Bilena for The Philippine Star’s Allure.
It has been such a memorable experience, being interviewed by a fellow Christian too! It made us both so happy to see how God works amazingly in people’s lives. Getting all dressed up is definitely something new to me as well because I don’t normally wear anything as fancy as these!
Maybe I should start doing so now? 🙂
Amidst prosperity and loss,
Successes and trials,
There is only one thing that remains true:
God is Good!